Instructions

Sometimes the hardest thing in life is to follow the instructions. The reasons vary greatly on why that is.

(You don’t need help!)

(You know what you’re doing.)

(That detail wasn’t that important.)

(You misread them.)

(You can’t read them.)

(You forgot to check.)

(You didn’t have them in the first place.)

(Life isn’t that straightforward, better not chance it blowing up when winging it has always worked in the past.)

My mom has this little plaque that she got for Mother’s Day one year (or was it Christmas?).

Anyone can make a plan, but it takes great Management to leap from crisis to crisis.

Like a lot of people, my life has been chaos for most of my life, no matter how hard my mom tried to make it otherwise. Some of it was my fault (kids can be really stupid), some of it was just life being life and an awful lot of it was out of her control. The only thing she ever really had control of was her own influence over her children and even a lot of that just didn’t work the same for her as for others. (She had no idea that the thought of her disappointment was enough of a determent for most of her kids; there was no way we were going to tell her that when we were all minors. She still marvels over it now that we’re adults, though it isn’t quite as powerful now.)

She largely let us decide what we were going to do with our lives with only a few things required.

  • no drugs, alcohol, etc.
  • no premarital sex under her roof (or anyone else’s while underage)
  • must go to school
  • must graduate, GED or equivalent
  • must make own choices and live with the consequences
  • must never lie to her, not even a little white lie

I’d rather hear the gosh-awful truth than a pretty lie.  –Mom

  • must try to get along with each other

She’d give us instructions on things if we asked (how to cook this or that, how to clean this or that, how to sew, sing, musical theory, help with English homework, etc.) but when it came to advice it was always:

Mom, what do you think I should do?

What do you want to do? Why do you want to do it? What does the Lord tell you?

She would not give advice. Mostly because her folks and elder sister were very…enthusiastic…(yeah, I like that word, enthusiastic) with their advice about what she should do with her life. Mom was not very bossy or leader-ish when she was younger. She was the type who followed. (I’m a bit of a follower myself, but I also like to boss people around…so I’m a manager-follower-thing.)

Following instructions can both be very easy and very hard for me. Take cooking for instance, I can follow a recipe fairly well (as long as I don’t accidentally misread tsp for tbs and put 4 tablespoons of salt into a meatloaf) but if it’s one of those easy out of a box things? Somehow I cannot make them.

I know a lot of my friends during our teen years would often comment on the ‘freedom’ that my mother allowed her children. She trusted us to follow the rules she’d set down without her having to stand over us all the time. As she had to work most of the time, she wouldn’t have been able to stand over us. We had babysitters when our eldest siblings were in school, but once we were older and they were at home after school, we stayed home.

What they never seemed to realize that if you broke Mom’s trust, it took a VERY long time for it to come back.

(If, indeed it ever did…)

The point was, you need to follow the directions but you also need to decide for yourself just what those directions are worth because only you can make that decision.

This was originally for an old Light and Shade Challenge prompt that didn’t end up being posted for that particular prompt. I was going through my old drafts (I’ve been doing that a lot lately) and decided this just needed a little more before posting. I hope that it was enjoyable in some way.

Lost Love?

Some say it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. Others say that only fools say this, because they do not understand the gaping void left in the wake of lost love.

For me, it is different as I imagine that it’s different for every person and every situation. I have not so much lost love as come to an understanding that it was time for us to part. He had the same realizations. I will always treasure the time that we had together, but it was time to move forward for both of us, and that forward motion did not run parallel for us. There are times when I feel the missing piece of myself, but at the same time I know that going back would not help. Memories are there to help you be who you are, but they are only as powerful as you let them be.

 Choices are the hinges of destiny. -Pythagoras

Though this does not always feel like its true, it is for me. But I am just one person who has had one relationship like this. I have lost the closeness of others: friends, family, pets; not always because our paths separate, but because of death as well. The reasons are always different, even when they are the same, because each person who has left me or who I have left is different.

But there will always be things that I remember…

The first time he walked me to the library.

The first time I walked him to the bus stop and waited with him for his bus.

The first time we held hands.

Every time we hugged before we parted.

The first time we kissed. (Which, despite popular belief, was something that I actually initiated. A thing which surprised me just as much as it did him.)

The first time he came to visit me when I was sick.

The first time we realized neither of us knew when our anniversary was so we just picked one and went with it.

When I realized that he was one of the few that I didn’t instinctively flinch away from when he rested a hand on my shoulder or neck.

When I realized that I felt safe in his presence no matter how tired or sick or lost I felt.

Honestly there are too many things to remember and write down that if I wrote them all I would never finish this post. Or, if I did this post would take far longer to compose than it has already. (Hint: I started writing this several months ago.)

The point is not that I have loved or that I have lost…

The point, gentlemen, is that they lived. -from the movie “Ever After”

Written originally for myself, but finished for yesterday’s FreeWriteFriday prompt as well as for myself: http://kellieelmore.com/2014/05/23/fwf-free-write-friday-first-kiss/

More Than One Choice – Day Eight

What to do today?
Should I while the day away?
Should I buckle down and type away?
Should I choose instead to clean all day?
Or may-hap travel ’round the town instead?
 
One way leads to relaxation galore,
Another to hair-pulling and plots I adore.
Yet the third will bring peace and zen still more.
The last brings adventures that will ne’er bore.
Which path shall I take?
 
Each will bring with it rewards,
Whether I weed amongst flowers
Or mentally cross a ford.
Yet again there is the satisfaction brought
With whatever I decide.
 
They say that two roads will diverge in a wood,
But that is not quite right.
There are more than just two paths
Before my sight.
And maybe the choices will all cross in the end.

Written for today’s NaPoWriMo Prompt: http://www.napowrimo.net/2014/04/day-eight/

I chose to try and write a different version and yet still tip my hat to Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken.

Absent

What’s love got to do with it, got to do with it? …Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken. -Tina Turner

When you love someone, you give them the power to hurt you. The more you love them, the more power they have until they hold enough to completely destroy your life.

If you’re a special kind of lucky, then they can destroy the lives of those around you as well.

She missed her family, missed them with something that boarded on hysteria if she allowed herself time to think about it. But she didn’t really have much of a choice here.

(She was lying to herself, she had a choice. It’s just that the consequences of the other choices available weren’t something that she could live with.)

Mary glanced back at where her sons were sleeping. She’d left the cameras installed after Warren had left out of reflex. If it took longer than they’d initially predicted then he’d still be able to watch over his family even if he couldn’t be there in person. The fact that she now needed to use them for the same purpose was not reassuring.

“Maybe I should have left this to Al to take care of like he offered,” she murmured to herself as her youngest rolled over in bed, his face scrunching up.

Matt was likely having a nightmare, again. And she wasn’t there to sooth him through it should it actually wake him up this time. She’d likely not be there in the morning either.

It broke her heart to know that she was losing both her sons so slowly, but as Warren had said when they’d first separated, if they would live to grow up then the price was worth it.